Review of 'Fight Club'

fight_club.jpg I have heard so much about “Fight Club” that I anticipated big things when I finally saw it the other day. I was not disappointed. If you were expecting an action flick, you will be sorely disappointed though there is a fair amount of action and copious amounts of violence. However, in “Fight Club” you will find a funny and insightful film that has a lot to say about the materialism of modern society.

The narrator (Edward Norton) works as a travelling vehicle recall specialist who is suffering from insomnia. When seeking treatment a doctor suggests he visits a cancer self-help group to see what real pain is. Taking him up on the offer, he finds the catharsis of releasing his emotions while attending the groups allows him to get the sleep he craves. As he begins to attend a number of different groups he meets Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) who also attends under false pretences and causes him to once again stop sleeping though they reach an agreement to split attendance in the various groups between themselves. Returning from a car crash investigation he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), an extremely eccentric independent soap manufacturer with strong feelings against the materialism of modern society. On discovering that his apartment has been destroyed he strikes an unlikely friendship with Tyler after they beat on each other in a bar parking lot - Again, finding catharsis in the violence. They start up a private “Fight Club” with like minded individuals fighting each other for “fun”. Tyler's designs go beyond “Fight Club” though with ever increasing violent acts of vigilantism…

Wow. An incredible story containing not only remarkable depth of thought and insight but, refreshingly, an ending that caught me completely by surprise. The gritty, visceral, cinematography is frenetic and compelling with the characters frequently talking to the audience, “breaking the fifth wall”. Despite some of this being more and more common nowadays, here it is fresh and riveting to watch.

Pitt convincingly serves up a truly disturbing Tyler while Carter plays to type as the quirky Marla. Both characters are highly unpredictable yet a lot of fun to watch on the screen. Norton also convinces with his geeky and boring character at a loss to what is going on around him yet going with it anyway. Meat Loaf makes an odd cameo as “Robert 'Bob' Paulson”, a social-reject character from a cancer support character that gets haplessly caught up in the mayhem.

There is a definite message here about the rejection of personal belongings that own us rather than vice-versa. Breaking loose from the boring day to day by “living for the moment”. Thankfully, “Fight Club” is only slightly preachy making this message clear but not talking about it all the time, allowing the story to speak instead.

Amazing and refreshing, certainly worth a watch. Don't let the title fool you - there is more here than meets the eye.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2016-11-06

Directed by: David Fincher

Studio: Fox 2000 Pictures

Year: 1999

Length: 139 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by David Fincher: